There are no hard and fast rules for timetables. It is up to you to set your own. However, as general rule of thumb you need to ask what would the business like to achieve three years from now compared to where it would be if you did not employ a marketing strategy.
There are several possible approaches for budgets and none of them can claim to be the right way. They include using a percentage of sales, the same spend as last year – if relevant, similar spend to key competitors, and the dubious what we can afford.
Sonja Garsvo, former public relations chief at Apple Computers recommends factoring the marketing budget into the business plan from the bottom up. She says, “If you can't afford a marketing budget you have to ask yourself, how viable is your product?”
For successful marketing keep these simple rules in mind. Remember a plan and schedule will reap results, a muddled approach won't.
- Start by setting clear objectives – where do you want your business to be, in say, three years.
- Define your target market and identify your audience.
- Decide on the brand and the values you want to transmit – the platform.
- Plan your promotion strategy.
- Set a budget.
- Devise a schedule.
- Decide how the strategy will be measured, for example, increased sales, direct responses, coverage in local press etc.
- Implement the programme according to the schedule.
- Monitor and evaluate results as an aid for future marketing decisions.
- Marketing works – if you don't make good use of it your competitors will.